The Book of Esther by Emily Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The year is 1942 and in an alternate universe the Kingdom of Khazaria still stands. However, it is under attack by Nazi Getmany. Of course, Hitler is never mentioned and neither are the Nazis. It is called the Dark Khaganate or Grrmanii.
Esther is the daughter of Josephus an important minister to the Khagan bek or commander in chief. As Jewish refugees come streaming in from Europe and as she over heard bits and pieces of conversation it is apparent that Germany intends to attack Lhazaria and kill all the Jews. To stop this she must play of Joan of Arc or Mulan and go out to fight. However, she is a sixteen year old girl about to be married to Shimon, future Rabbi of Khazaria.
Her only hope is to find Yetzirah, a town of Kabbalists and see if they will change her into a man. On the way to village she confronts Jewish Khaxars , Uighur oil barons and some other adventures.
The Kabbalist refuse her sex change request but Amit has a way. Esther does cobble and army together. The army of golems, Uighur, Jews , karate a etc and does mount a good fight. The thing is does Khazaria still hold out?
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